Friday, February 19, 2016

Danish Soldiers in the Trenches of Dybbøl (1864)

Title: Kampene ved Dybbøl, 1864 (The Battle of Dybbøl, 1864)
Artist: Jørgen Valentin Sonne
Date: 1871

The Battle of Dybbøl (Danish: Slaget ved Dybbøl; German: Erstürmung der Düppeler Schanzen) was the key battle of the Second Schleswig War and occurred on the morning of 18 April 1864 following a siege starting on 7 April. Denmark suffered a severe defeat against Prussia, which decided the war. Dybbøl was also a battlefield in the First Schleswig War.

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Danish Attack at Dybbøl (1864)

Title: Ottende brigades angreb ved Dybbøl 18. april 1864 (Eighth Brigade's attack at Dybbøl 18 April 1864)
Artist: Vilhelm Rosenstand
Date: 1894

On the morning of 18 April 1864 at Dybbøl, the Prussians moved into their positions at 2.00. At 10.00 the Prussian artillery bombardment stopped and the Prussians charged through shelling from the Rolf Krake which did not prove enough to halt them. Thirteen minutes after the charge, the Prussian infantry had already seized control of the first line of defence of the redoubts.

A total massacre of the retreating troops was avoided and the Prussian advance halted by a counter-attack by the 8th Brigade, until a Prussian attack threw them back; that attack advanced about 1 km and reached Dybbøl Mill. In that counter-attack the 8th Brigade lost about half their men, dead or wounded or captured. This let the remnants of 1st and 3rd Brigades escape to the pier opposite Sønderborg. At 13.30 the last resistance collapsed at the bridgehead in front of Sønderborg. After that there was an artillery duel across the Alssund.

During the battle around 3,600 Danes and 1,200 Prussians were either killed, wounded or disappeared. A Danish official army casualty list at the time said: 671 dead; 987 wounded, of whom 473 were captured; 3,131 unwounded captured and/or deserters; total casualties 4,789. The 2nd and 22nd Regiments lost the most. Also, the crew of the Danish naval ship Rolf Krake suffered one dead, 10 wounded.

The Battle of Dybbøl was the first battle monitored by delegates of the Red Cross: Louis Appia and Charles van de Velde. Following the battle, the Prussians used the fort area as a starting point to attack Als in June 1864.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Prince Alfred of England

Title: Prince Alfred of England
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1865

Oil on canvas, 74.4 x 61.4 cm. Winterhalter was born in the Black Forest where he was encouraged to draw at school. In 1818 he went to Freiburg to study under Karl Ludwig Schüler and then moved to Munich in 1823, where he attended the Academy and studied under Josef Stieler, a fashionable portrait painter. Winterhalter was first brought to the attention of Queen Victoria by the Queen of the Belgians and subsequently painted numerous portraits at the English court from 1842 till his death. Prince Alfred (1844–1900), aged 21, is wearing naval uniform with the star of the Garter. He was the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and joined the navy when he was 14 years old, in August 1858. He served on the Euryalus and sailed to the Mediterranean, South Africa, and the West Indies, returning home in August 1861. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1863 and, after a career in the navy, was made Admiral of the Fleet in 1893. Signed and dated: Fr Winterhalter / 1865. Inscribed on the back with the names of the artist and sitter and as painted at the Rosenau, August 1865.

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Albert, Prince of Wales (Later Edward VII of Great Britain)

Title: Albert, Prince of Wales
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1864

Oil on canvas, 161.8 x 114.1 cm. Winterhalter was born in the Black Forest where he was encouraged to draw at school. In 1818 he went to Freiburg to study under Karl Ludwig Schüler and then moved to Munich in 1823, where he attended the Academy and studied under Josef Stieler, a fashionable portrait painter. Winterhalter was first brought to the attention of Queen Victoria by the Queen of the Belgians and subsequently painted numerous portraits at the English court from 1842 till his death. Prince Albert Edward, Queen Victoria’s eldest son, is dressed in the uniform of Colonel of the 10th Hussars and holds his shako which, from 1800 onwards, became a common military head-dress in most armies. He wears the ribbon and star of the Garter, the badge of the Golden Fleece, and the Star of India. The portrait was commissioned by Queen Victoria along with that of Princess Alexandra (RCIN 402351) whom he had married in 1863. Signed and dated: Fr Winterhalter 1864.

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Paramedic of the British UKSF in Afghanistan

Title: Battle Mist
Artist: Stuart Brown
Date: 2007

Commissioned by the UK Special Forces Medical Group. A role one Paramedic from the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) Medical Group hands over a casualty, following advanced resuscitation, to colleagues for onward evacuation. The casualty will be moved, via the waiting CH47 from 7 Squadron Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing, to a deployed UKSF Medical Group role two facility; where life saving damage control surgery will take place.

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Panzer IV Ausf.F1/G/H Medium Tank in Battle

Title: Panzer IV Ausf.F1/G/H medium tank
Artist: Unknown
Date: Unknown

Whilst the propaganda headlines may well have gone to the big cats such as the Panther and the Tiger, the Panzer IV was the backbone of German armoured capability throughout the war. The iconic German tank of the Second World War, the Panzer IV fought from the invasion of Poland to the fall of Berlin. The Panzer IV was constantly updated, with its sound design giving it a longevity well beyond that of its contemporaries. By mid-war it was packing a deadly long-barrelled 75mm gun, giving it great hitting power and better mobility and its armour had been doubled in places greatly increasing its survivability.

By the time of massive battles in Russia in middle of the war the Pz IV was also carrying the detachable screen side armour known as schürzen. This was in response to the threat posed by Russian anti-tank rifles and, latterly, by Allied hollow charge bazooka style weapons.

This is the backbone of the Panzer regiments!

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Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria (1830-1916)

Title: Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria (1830-1916)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1865

Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria wearing the dress uniform of an Austrian Field Marshal (scarlet trousers and white summer undress tunic) with the Great Star of the Military Order of Maria Theresa. The Golden Fleece suspended from the base of his collar. His hairline was already in full retreat, but his most remarkable features were a wide 'tash and a set of cavalry whiskers that reached down to his sloping shoulders.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1803-73) was the outstanding court portraitist of mid-19th century Europe. For Queen Victoria alone he painted over 120 works, and he was also portrait painter to the French court, first to Louis-Philippe, and later to Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie. Over his long career Winterhalter painted an array of the crowned heads of Europe, and the most beautiful women of the day, many of them dressed in the spectacular silk and tulle confections of the Parisian couturier, Worth.

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Portrait of Maximilian I of Mexico (1832-1867)

Title: Portrait of Maximilian I of Mexico (1832-1867)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Portrait of Maximilian I of Mexico in coronation robes. At the behest of Mexican monarchists and French Emperor Napoleon III, Austrian Prince Maximilian agreed to serve as Emperor of Mexico. Original in Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City. Monarchs have often worn ceremonial robes at their coronations and investitures. The mantles of the emperors and kings are called coronation mantles. Some monarchs have taken an oath but were not crowned. Their mantles are of the same design as those of the crowned monarchs. There are also the less costly mantles that were used for other ceremonies. They are made after the fashion of the coronation mantles. Monarchs that were not crowned, petty rulers (such as Grand Dukes in Germany) and members of royal families are often depicted in this way. These ceremonial regal robes, "Prunkmäntel" in German, may be called "ceremonial regal robes" to distinguish them from the robes that were worn at coronations.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Delaware Regiment at the Battle of Long Island (1776)

Title: The Delaware Regiment at the Battle of Long Island
Artist: Domenick D'Andrea
Date: 2004

The battle of Long Island, a British victory, began just after the Siege of Boston. As the British fled after their defeat in that siege, General George Washington guessed that they would head south and try to take New York. Therefore, he and his army went there and prepared for the British to attack. As it turns out, the British had in fact gone North to Halifax, Nova Scotia. They reached the Hudson River on June 29, 1776, and on July 3, British General William Howe arrived on Stanton Island. The next day (July 4, 1776) was the day that the America's Continental Congress announced the independence of America.

While all of this was happening, George Washington had been preparing for battle in New York. He had created a wall of men with guns to defend the city from any attacks from the sea and placed 10,000 men on Brooklyn Heights to defend Manhattan. He was ready for anyone who would attack New York. There was just one problem: the British would be attacking Long Island, not New York.

On August 27, 1776 the British landed on Long Island, which is south of New York. Two days later, General Howe learned that the Americans had no one guarding the road leading North from Long Island into New York, but had defenses set up on all the other roads. Using this information, Howe led his men up the North road. He then proceeded around to attack the Americans Guarding the left road, who were led by General John Sullivan. While Howe's army attacked Sullivan's from the back, a German troop, which was allied with the British, attacked from the front. Sullivan fought as well as he could, but he was soon overpowered and forced to retreat behind the Brooklyn walls. Howe, feeling proud of his victory, led his men and attacked the men guarding the right road, using the same technique. They, like Sullivan's men, fought hard but were forced to retreat to Brooklyn.

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The Battle of Lexington (1775)

Title: The Battle of Lexington (1775)
Artist: William Barnes Wollen
Date: 1910

A painting of the battle of Lexington (April 19, 1775) by William Barnes Wollen (1857–1936). Courtesy of the Council, National Army Museum, London, UK. The disposition of the British troops and American colonists in the painting represents the prevailing image of closely ranked British engaging a loosely formed enemy. The colonists were drawn up in a formal line on the village green at Lexington where, after refusing to disperse, they were fired upon by British regulars deployed in a three-rank, close-order formation. While some of the colonists that engaged in the running battle with the British on April 19, 1775 may have been veterans of the French and Indian War, they had little organization or training. After that initial exchange of musketry the American tactics largely involved hit-and-run attacks on the British column returning to Boston. The Colonists made extensive use of available cover, stone walls, and fences, and repeatedly forced the British to deploy from march column into line, only to find the Americans had dispersed.

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Book "Continental versus Redcoat: American Revolutionary War" by David Bonk

American Continental Army Uniform

Title: Infantry: Continental Army, 1779-1783
Artist: Henry Alexander Ogden
Date: 1897

In January 1779 Washington submitted a proposal to the Continental Congress for the standardization of uniforms, suggesting each state adopt a different color uniform, with facing colors distinguishing different units. He also suggested pants be replaced with woolen overalls for winter and linen for summer wear. Congress passed along the proposal to the Board of War, which responded in May 1779 with a revised plan adopting dark blue as the standard uniform color and dividing the states into four groups, each with a different facing color. The proposed facing colors were white (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), buff (New York and New Jersey), red (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia), and blue with white lace buttonholes (North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia).

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Book "Continental versus Redcoat: American Revolutionary War" by David Bonk

Monday, February 15, 2016

Friedrich the Great Carrying the Flag (1758)

Title: Friedrich der grosse als Fahnentrager auf dem Schlachtfeld’ (Frederick the Great as standard-bearer at the battlefield)
Artist: Arthur Kampf
Date: 1900

On 25 August 1758 Prussian army defeated the numerically stronger forces of Russian Army at Zorndorf (approximately 90 kilometers east of Berlin) with superior organization. During the battle, Prussian king Friedrich II had taken the flag of  Prussian Infantry Regiment Nr.46 that lying on the ground and then led his retreating soldiers to a successful counterattack. Inspired by this event, German painter Arthur Kampf recreated the King Friedrich's Prowess 150 years later. In contrast to the many detailed and colorful battle scenes from that time, King Friedrich and the flag fill the whole height of the painting. Friedrich placed expansively in the foreground., Only dimly behind the dense smoke powder as a recognition to Prussian soldiers who will bring unity and dynamism for the next glorious attack. The painting staged Friedrich as a model for unconditional sacrifice: The Carrying of the Flag resolutely onward, it seem that the King does not fear for death, even though the fallen soldier has been pictured to his right and left. The German painter used the motif of the flag that had been used since the Prussian-Danish war in 1864 as a symbol for victory. However, he had made a significant error in his paintings: The four corner keys of the flag of the infantry regiment No. 46 were not red but black. Arthur Kampf, ‘Friedrich der grosse als Fahnentrager auf dem Schlachtfeld’ (‘Frederick the Great as standard-bearer at the battlefield’) now in the possession of German Historical Museum, Berlin.

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War Enthusiasm at the Start of World War I (1914)

Title: 1 August 1914 in Berlin
Artist: Arthur Kampf
Date: 1914

Russia mobilized his troops against Austria-Hungary on 31 July 1914. The Germans responded on the evening of 1 August 1914 with the mobilization of its troops. This painting by Arthur Kampf (1864-1950), entitled '1. August 1914 in Berlin' (1914) captures the moment between the two mobilization. Before a crowd in Berliner Schloss, a man has climbed to a lamppost with the Empire flag in his left hand and speaks to the crowd. This painting is now currently displayed at the German Historical Museum, Berlin.

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The Last Statement in Front of the Police Officer (1886)

Title: Die Letzte Aussage (The Last Statement)
Artist: Arthur Kampf
Date: 1886

While still a student at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Arthur Kampf produced a painting that caused a real stir on account of its size coupled with its theme. The subject of controversy in the dailies and the trade journals, the work won many prizes and, after first going on display in 1886 was very popular and laid the foundations for his career. The socially critical depiction of a man fatally injured, whose last statement is being jotted down by a policeman as he lies dying, was firmly in the tradition of ‘painting poor people’ that emerged in the second half of the 19th century. The artist to great effect intermingles the scene of the realistically portrayed man dying with representational motifs drawn from Christian art, constructing a pictorial space with life-size figures. One stands opposite them and becomes the witness of the dramatic events. From the 1890s onwards, Arthur Kampf emerged as one of Germany’s most important history painters of his day, and his works were widely received in Germany through 1945. (Sabine Schroyen)

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Friedrich the Great and His Troops Singing at Leuthen (1757)

Title: Der Choral von Leuthen (The Hymn of Leuthen)
Artist: Arthur Kampf
Date: 1887

Arthur Kampf, ‘Der Choral von Leuthen’ (‘The Hymn of Leuthen’), created in 1887. The Battle of Leuthen, 5 December 1757. Friedrich (Frederick) the Great and his troops singing hymns to thank God for their victory over the Austrians during the Seven Years War. The song was composed in the 17th century by Johannes Crüger and inspired Johann Sebastian Bach. In 1939 the Reichsgau Köln-Aachen gave the painting to Hermann Göring for his 46th birthday. Nowadays in the possession of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich.

Source :,_Good_Friday&id=42

German Soldiers in a French Church (1915)

Title: Karfreitag in einer französischen Kirche (Good Friday in a French Church)
Artist: Arthur Kampf
Date: 1915

Also known as 'Wir treten zum Beten vor Gott den Gerechten' ('We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing'). This painting was created in 1915, once hung in the Great German Art Exhibition of 1939, Saal 03. Nowadays it is in the possession of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preusischer Kulturbesitz, Nationalgalerie.

'Wir treten zum Beten' is an old prayer song with Dutch origins going back to the Battle of Turnhout in 1597, where the Dutch defeated the Spaniards. The song was very popular during the time of the German Kaiserreich. Later, the National Socialists used the song often in their propaganda. It would emphasise the blessing of God on the Third Reich as successor of the German Kaiserreich.

Source :,_Good_Friday&id=42

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Public Viewing of the Corpse of Kaiser Wilhelm I (1888)

Title: Die Aufbahrung Kaiser Wilhelm I (The body of Kaiser Wilhelm I lying in state)
Artist: Arthur Kampf
Date: 1900

Also known as 'Aufbewahrung Kaiser Wilhelm I. im Berliner Dom' (Public Viewing of the Corpse of Kaiser Wilhelm I. in the Dome in Berlin). Displayed at the Grosse Münchener Kunstausstellung in the Glaspalast, 1922. In the possession of the Neue Pinakothek, Munich 

Source :,_Mit_Mann_und_Ross_und_Wagen&id=209

The Defeated French Soldiers Coming Back from Russia (1812)

Title: Mit Mann und Ross und Wagen, so hat sie Gott geschlagen (With man and horse and carriage, it has beaten by God)
Artist: Arthur Kampf
Date: 1895

'Mit Mann und Ross und Wagen, so hat sie Gott geschlagen', which Arthur Kampf created in 1895, depicts the defeated French soldiers coming back (to Germany) from Russia in 1812. The painting 'Mit Mann und Ross und Wagen' has been in the possession of the ‘Schlesisches Museum für bildende Künste' in Breslau (Wroclaw, Poland), but is missing since 1922. 'Mit Mann und Ross und wagen, so hat sie Gott geschlagen' are also the first words of a German folksong from 1813. The song comments on a complete defeat of the French troops in Russia in 1812. Napoleon, the Emperor of France since 1804, defeated the German army in October 1806 at Jena and Auerstedt. After the defeat in Russia, it took another year before Germany was liberated from the French. In the Battle of Leipzig the foundation was created for the German Empire of 1871. The slogan 'Mit Mann und Roß und Wagen hat sie der Herr geschlagen“ was later used by the Nazis when they invaded Poland.

Source :,_Mit_Mann_und_Ross_und_Wagen&id=209

German Soldier Bandaging his Wrist (1940)

Title: Nach dem Kampf (After the battle)
Artist: Ernst Kretschmann
Date: 1940

This original poster from 1940 depicts a brave German soldier, aware of his duty, who is bandaging his wrist. In the distance is the chaos of the battle field: smoking ruins and canons. On the backside of this period print is adhered the newspaper “Vossische Zeitung” from 1933. The leading article concerns the Reichtag fire which happened only a day earlier. Vossische Zeitung, founded in 1704, was a Berlin-based liberal newspaper. In 1934, a year after this edition, Vossische Zeitung was forced by the Nazis to close down. The Reichstag fire (27 February 1933) was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin that occurred on 27 February 1933. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany. The fire was used by the Nazis as evidence that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Suspending civil liberties, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates. With their bitter rivals the Communists gone and their seats empty, the National Socialist Party went from being merely a plurality party to the majority. The poster is signed “EK 40, Nach dem Kampf” (partially under the frame).

Ernst Kretschmann (1897–1942) was a German illustrator, graphic designer and SA-Truppführer (Nazi storm trooper with the rank of sergeant first class). In 1912 the son of a railroad worker studied at the Architektenschule in Mainz. In 1915 Kretschmann voluntarily joined the army. As part of a Stosstrupp he took part in 34 battles and was wounded at Verdun. From 1921 to 1931 he made study trips within Europe and to Morocco, Spanish-East Africa and the Canary Islands. In this time, as a self taught graphic artist, he made many illustrations for the fashion industry. As an employee of the magazines ‘Die SA’ and ‘Der SA-Führer’, Kretschamnn made many propaganda illustrations for the National Socialists. In the Great German Art Exhibitions Kretschmann was represented -until his death- with four works. As a SA-Truppführer from a propaganda company he fell in 1942 at the Eastfront.

Source :,_Nach_dem_Kampf&id=37

Friday, February 12, 2016

Portrait of King Ferdinand VII of Spain (1814)

Title: Portrait of Ferdinand VII
Artist: Francisco Goya
Date: 1814-1815

Brought by the Museo del Prado, Ferdinand VII in Court Dress by Francisco Goya (1814-1815) shows King Ferdinand VII shortly after he had taken the throne. Goya was able to masterly capture the King's regal attire and showcase him as a powerful monarch. King Ferdinand VII's expression is almost distrustful as if he is wary of how Goya is actually painting him on the canvas while he poses9. Goya however could have painted the King with a distrustful face to symbolize how the King must have felt after having taken the throne. In 1815, King Ferdinand VII abolished the constitution and became and absolutist king. Goya may have been well aware of how tightly the King wanted to hold on to power, and almost like a premonition, knew he was distrustful on his subjects. The King would later start ruling with an iron fist. He would try to imprison or kill any liberal in Spain, and at one time this included Goya as a target. The King, being fearful of losing his power, treated the subjects so poorly that many left in exile. King Ferdinand VII became a tyrant king that was loved by very few. Later his people had revolted against him in reaction to his abuse of power. 

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The Third of May 1808

Title: El 3 de mayo de 1808 en Madrid (The Third of May 1808 in Madrid)
Artist: Francisco Goya
Date: 1814

The Third of May 1808 (also known as El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid or Los fusilamientos de la montaña del Príncipe Pío, or Los fusilamientos del tres de mayo) is a painting completed in 1814 by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation of 1808 in the Peninsular War. Along with its companion piece of the same size, The Second of May 1808 (or The Charge of the Mamelukes), it was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya's suggestion. The painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May 1808 marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era. According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May 1808 is "the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention". The Third of May 1808 has inspired a number of other major paintings, including a series by Édouard Manet, and Pablo Picasso's Massacre in Korea and Guernica. 

The Third of May 1808 is set in the early hours of the morning following the uprising and centers on two masses of men: one a rigidly poised firing squad, the other a disorganized group of captives held at gun point. Executioners and victims face each other abruptly across a narrow space; according to Kenneth Clark, "by a stroke of genius has contrasted the fierce repetition of the soldiers' attitudes and the steely line of their rifles, with the crumbling irregularity of their target." A square lantern situated on the ground between the two groups throws a dramatic light on the scene. The brightest illumination falls on the huddled victims to the left, whose numbers include a monk or friar in prayer. To the immediate right and at the center of the canvas, other condemned figures stand next in line to be shot. The central figure is the brilliantly lit man kneeling amid the bloodied corpses of those already executed, his arms flung wide in either appeal or defiance. His yellow and white clothing repeats the colors of the lantern. His plain white shirt and sun-burnt face show he is a simple laborer.

On the right side stands the firing squad, engulfed in shadow and painted as a monolithic unit. Seen nearly from behind, their bayonets and their shako headgear form a relentless and immutable column. Most of the faces of the figures cannot be seen, but the face of the man to the right of the main victim, peeping fearfully towards the soldiers, acts as a repoussoir at the back of the central group. Without distracting from the intensity of the foreground drama, a townscape with a steeple looms in the nocturnal distance, probably including the barracks used by the French. In the background between the hillside and the shakos is a crowd with torches: perhaps onlookers, perhaps more soldiers or victims.

The Second and Third of May 1808 are thought to have been intended as parts of a larger series. Written commentary and circumstantial evidence suggest that Goya painted four large canvases memorializing the rebellion of May 1808. In his memoirs of the Royal Academy in 1867, José Caveda wrote of four paintings by Goya of the second of May, and Cristóbal Ferriz—an artist and a collector of Goya—mentioned two other paintings on the theme: a revolt at the royal palace and a defense of artillery barracks. Contemporary prints stand as precedents for such a series. The disappearance of two paintings may indicate official displeasure with the depiction of popular insurrection.

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The Second of May 1808 (The Charge of the Mamelukes)

Title: El 2 de mayo de 1808 en Madrid (The Second of May 1808 in Madrid)
Artist: Francisco Goya
Date: 1814

After Spanish Prime Minister Manuel Godoy allowed the French Invasion of Spain, the Spanish people revolted against the French on the second of May in 1808. On display from the Museo del Prado, Francisco Goya depicts the Spanish uprising in his Second of May, 1808 (1814). The scene is very chaotic, depicting what the uprising must have been like when the unarmed and untrained Spanish people started attacking the Turkish soldiers of the French army. The scene is very bleak however the Turkish soldiers have looks of surprise and bewilderment. The Spanish people have looks of determination and outrage that the French have come into Spain. The Turkish soldiers serve as a familiar scene of Spanish Christians fighting against Muslims. The Turkish soldiers evokes feelings of hatred and distrust which were common emotions Spanish people felt about Muslims as well as any other invaders to Spanish territory. Because of Godoy as well as the monarchs of Spain allowing the French Invasion it was up to the Spanish people to rise in power to try to overthrow their invaders. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful and the War of Independence would last for four years. Due to lack of judgement as well as the misuse of political power, the most powerful people in Spain had drag its country and its people through many hardships.

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Portrait of Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, 'Prince of the Peace'

Title: Portrait of Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, 'Prince of the Peace'
Artist: Francisco Goya
Date: 1801

Francisco Goya's portrait of Manuel Godoy is brought from the Museo del Prado. The portrait, Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia (1801), is a depiction of Manuel Godoy sitting outside with what appears to be his military regiment. Manuel Godoy was an important figure in Spain at the time. He had served as the prime minister however he had led Spain to many disasters, including the French Invasion of 1808. Godoy sits with an air of dignity and power, even though Godoy was not popular with the Spanish people. The military regiment behind Godoy highlights Godoy's power and authority. However, this portrait is not traditional of portraits of military leaders and nobility. Godoy is in a really relaxed position, with an almost smug expression on his face. The background is dark and bleak, possibly highlighting the disasters Godoy had brought to Spain. The air around Godoy looks as though there is smoke from cannon fire which could possibly mean that a battle had just taken place. If that were so it is interesting to see that Godoy is sitting down instead of leading his army. Unfortunately, the Spanish monarchy has trust Godoy too greatly and gave him too much power which he abused. The love of power and also Godoy's greed is what led to the French Invasion of 1808. Godoy had not cared what was best for the people of Spain and therefore was force to live in exile after the French Invasion. 

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The Capitulation of Breda

Title: La rendición de Breda (The Surrender of Breda)
Artist: Diego Velázquez
Date: 1634-1635

On display from the Museo del Prado is Diego Velazquez's The Surrender of Breda (1634-1635). Velazquez, under commission for King Philip IV, commemorates the capture of Breda during the Eighty Years' War. Depicted is the Spanish general Spinola takes the keys to the city from the defeated Dutch general. Velazquez paints the Dutch general as bowing to Spinola, which highlights the victory of Spain. However many art historians believe that the Dutch do not look as though they have been painfully defeated. The Dutch are depicted as looking more well rested and healthy than the Spanish soldiers. The Dutch general may even wear a condescending expression as he may know one day the Dutch will take back the city of Breda, which was recaptured in 1637. Velazquez paid certain attention to the Spanish lances as he later went back and made the lances much taller than the Dutch's lances, which is why the Surrender of Breda is also known as The Lances. On the left, the Spanish army is depicted with longer and straighter lances which is to highlight the greater power and strength of the Spanish army. Even though the lances are a symbol for Spain's military prowess, the cordiality between Spinola and the Dutch general is meant to paint Spain in a good light. The Surrender of Breda shows Spain as capable of respect and forgiveness of those of whom they have defeated. Once again, Spain's military power has allowed Spain to capture new lands and rule over new people. However, sometimes Spain's power was not always enough. As the Dutch took back the city of Breda in 1637, the Spanish effort during the Eighty Years' War was wasted. In order to gain more power throughout Europe, occasionally Spain made wrong decisions that led to their own defeat. 

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The Capitulation of Granada

Title: La Rendición de Granada (The Surrender of Granada)
Artist: Francisco Pradilla Ortiz
Date: 1882

The Capitulation of Granada by Francisco Pradilla Ortiz (1882) from the Museo del Prado, depicts the Sultan Mohammed XII surrendering the city of Granada to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. Granada had been the last outpost of Moorish control in Spain. The surrender of Granada meant the end to an 800 year presence of Muslims in Spain  (bonhams). Hungry for power, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabell sought to rid Spain of all Muslims in order to create a unified Spain. Spain, after having captured Granada was now unified and could focus on its goal of creating a large empire. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella believed Spain could be the next greatest world power and used their military strength and wealth to gain power over many peoples. The eradication of Muslims in Spain was a precursor to how the Spanish would treat the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The King and Queen are shown on their horses as they sit tall and proud after having won Granada back from the Moors. Only the Muslim leader, Sultan Mohammed XII sits atop a horse next to his counsel. The Spanish are depicted as having large numbers whereas the Sultan and his counsel are depicted in small numbers. This could have been purposefully done by the artist in order to highlight the strength and grandeur which Spain had at the time. Throughout Spanish history, Spanish Christians had warred with the Muslims that had settled in Spain. By depicting the Moors in small numbers it further highlights their lack of military skill and incompetency. 

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rocroi, the Last Tercio

Title: Rocroi, el último tercio (Rocroi, the last tercio)
Artist: Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau
Date: 2011

Rocroi, The Last Tercio (2011) by the contemporary artists Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau is on display from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Rocroi, The Last Tercio depicts the defeat of the Spanish army in the Battle of Rocroi against the French. The Battle of Rocroi occurred near the end of the Thirty Years' War and is an important battle in world history. The French defeat of the Spanish army marks the end to a century and a half of battles won by the Spanish army7.  Interestingly however, unlike in The Surrender of Breda by Velazquez, Ferrer-Dalmau only paints the Spanish army. The last tercio, or the last third of the Spanish army stands together proud and defiant as they await the French artillery. Even though Spain suffered a massive loss, within the painting, Spain can be seen as still having dignity. By only showing the bravery of the Spanish army and not the victorious French army, makes the viewer almost believe that Spain had won the Battle of Rocroi. The attention to detail as well as the long lances is very similar to Velazquez's representation of the surrender of the city of Breda. After waging wars and other military campaigns for around 150 years, Spain had finally abused their power and spread themselves too thin. Once the French had defeated the Spanish army, Spain would no longer live in a Golden Age.

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Transport of the KNIL Soldiers

Title: Het transport der kolonialen (Transport of the Colonial Soldiers)
Artist: Isaac Israëls
Date: 1883-1884

Oil on canvas. Height: 1,600 mm (62.99 in). Width: 3,000 mm (118.11 in). Now in Kröller-Müller Museum. In the second half of the 19th century, more than 70,000 soldiers of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) left for the Dutch East Indies. This detachment of KNIL soldiers walks across the Koningsbrug in Rotterdam, ready to embark on their journey. The woman holding the child’s hand and wishing her husband farewell does lend some drama to the scene, but Isaac Israels is more interested in providing an objective representation than eliciting an emotional response. Isaac is the son of Jozef Israëls, one of the most important artists of The Hague School. This art movement is characterized by the depiction of realistic Dutch landscapes in grey, dark tints. Isaac is only 18 when he paints Transport of colonial soldiers. In this monumental, dark and detailed work, he still appears influenced by the work of his father. But he soon develops a style of his own. His technique becomes more fluent and fleeting and he starts concentrating on the rapid rendering of his subjects. He is therefore regarded a Dutch representative of impressionism.

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Artillery of Dutch East-Indies Army (KNIL)

Title: Artillerie van het Oost-Indisch leger (Artillery of East-Indies Army)
Artist: Justus Pieter de Veer
Date: 1896

The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger; KNIL) was the military force maintained by the Netherlands in its colony of the Netherlands East Indies (also known as the Dutch East Indies), in areas that are now part of Indonesia. The KNIL's air arm was the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force. Elements of the Royal Netherlands Navy were also stationed in the Netherlands East Indies.

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And When Did You Last See Your Father?

Title: And When Did You Last See Your Father?
Artist: William Frederick Yeames
Date: 1878

The oil-on-canvas picture, painted in 1878, depicts a scene in an imaginary Royalist household during the English Civil War. The Parliamentarians have taken over the house and question the son about his Royalist father (the man lounging on a chair in the centre of the scene is identifiable as a Roundhead officer by his military attire and his orange sash). Yeames was inspired to paint the picture to show the crises that could arise from the natural frankness of young children. Here, if the boy tells the truth he will endanger his father, but if he lies he will go against the ideal of honesty undoubtedly instilled in him by his parents.

The boy in the pictures is based on Thomas Gainsborough's painting 'The Blue Boy'. It was modelled by Yeames' nephew, James Lambe Yeames. Behind the boy, there is a girl, probably the daughter, waiting her turn to be questioned. The girl was based on Yeames' niece, Mary Yeames. At the back of the hall the mother and elder daughter wait anxiously on the boy's reply. The scene is neutral: while the innocence of the boy is emphasised by his blond hair, open expression and blue suit, the questioners are also treated sympathetically; the main interrogator has a friendly expression and the sergeant with the little girl has his arm on her shoulder as if comforting her. The painting is at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, having been bought in 1878, just a year after the gallery opened in 1877. Madame Tussauds in London has a life-size waxwork tableau of the scene, faithfully reproduced from the painting.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Maximilian van Oostenrijk (Maximilian I of Mexico)

Title: Maximilian van Oostenrijk
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: Unknown

Maximilian (Spanish: Maximiliano; born Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph; 6 July 1832 – 19 June 1867) was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. He was a younger brother of the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph I. After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he entered into a scheme with Napoleon III of France to invade, conquer, and rule Mexico. France (along with the United Kingdom and Spain, who both withdrew the following year after negotiating agreements with Mexico's democratic government) had invaded Mexico in the winter of 1861, as part of the War of the French Intervention. Seeking to legitimize French rule in the Americas, Napoleon III invited Maximilian to establish a new Mexican monarchy for him. With the support of the French army, and a group of conservative Mexican monarchists hostile to the liberal administration of new Mexican President Benito Juárez, Maximilian traveled to Mexico. Once there, he declared himself Emperor of Mexico on 10 April 1864. Many foreign governments (including the United States) refused to recognize Maximilian's claim or regime. Maximilian's Second Mexican Empire was widely considered a 'puppet' regime of France. Additionally, Maximilian never completely defeated the Mexican Republic; Republican forces led by President Benito Juárez continued to be active during Maximilian's rule. With the end of the American Civil War in 1865, the United States (which had been too distracted by its own civil war to confront the European's 1861 invasion of what it considered to be its sphere-of-influence) began more explicit aid of President Juárez's forces. Matters worsened for Maximilian's 'empire' after the French withdrew its armies from Mexico in 1866. Maximilian's Mexican Empire collapsed; the Mexican government captured and executed Maximilian in 1867. His wife, Charlotte of Belgium (Carlota), had left for Europe earlier to try to build support for her husband's regime; after his execution, however, she suffered an emotional collapse and was declared insane.

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Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm with His Family

Title: Crown Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm with his wife, Crown Princess Victoria, and their children, Prince Wilhelm and Princess Charlotte.
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Crown Princess Victoria is dressed in an opulent evening dress. She was presumably expecting Prince Heinrich who arrived on 14 August of that year.

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Édouard André

Title: Édouard André (1833-1894)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Portrait of Édouard André (1857) wearing Hussar uniform, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Musée Jacquemart-André. Édouard François André (13 December 1833 – 16 July 1894) was a French banker, politician, soldier and art collector. He was the husband of Nélie Jacquemart-André, the society painter. Their art collection is preserved at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Portrait of Napoleon III

Title: Portrait of Napoleon III (1808-1873)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Oil on canvas, 240 × 155 cm (94.49 × 61.02 in). Museo Napoleonico, Rome. Napoleon III’s empire, lasting from 1852-1870, witnessed rapid prosperity and fortune, evident when observing the courtly fashion during his reign. Franz Xaver Winterhalter (b Menzenschwand, Black Forest, 20 Apr. 1805; d Frankfurt, 8 July 1873). German painter. Early in his career he worked mainly as a lithographer, but he became famous as the leading court portrait painter of his time. From 1834 he was based mainly in Paris, but he travelled widely and painted royals from several European countries. He was a particular favourite of Queen Victoria, who called him ‘excellent, delightful Winterhalter’ (the Royal Collection has more than a hundred of his paintings), and he was also much employed by Napoleon III of France and his wife the empress Eugénie. His style was romantic, glossy, and superficial and his portraits have until recently generally been valued more as historical records than as works of art. 

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Maharajah Duleep Singh

Title: Maharajah Duleep Singh
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter

The King Duleep Singh. Commissioned by Queen Victoria, who noted in her journal on 10 July 1854 that "Winterhalter was in ecstasies at the beauty and nobility of bearing of the young Maharaja. He was very amiable and patient, standing so still and giving a sitting of upwards of 2 hrs'". In the portrait, the Maharaja is shown wearing his diamond aigrette and star in his turban and a jewel-framed miniature of Queen Victoria by Emily Eden.

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The First of May 1851

Title: The First of May 1851
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter

This picture shows the Duke of Wellington offering a gift to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Prince Arthur, in a scene resembling the Adoration of the Magi. The painting was commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate the 1st of May 1851, which held a threefold significance: it was the first birthday of Prince Arthur, the eighty-second birthday of prince's godfather the Duke of Wellington, and the opening day of the Great Exhibition. Prince Arthur holds Lily-of-the-valley, a traditional 1st of May gift said to bring good luck. The Crystal Palace can be seen in the background.

Source :,_1851.jpg

Afghan War

Title: Afghan War
Artist: Unknown
Date: Unknown

Soviet convoy ambushed by the Mujahideens. The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups ("the Mujahideen") who received aid from both Christian and Muslim countries, fought against the Soviet Army and allied Afghan forces. Between 850,000–1.5 million civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran.

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Time to Heal

Title: A Time to Heal
Artist: Don Stivers
Date: 2014

In early winter of 7 November 1944, in the mist-shrouded forests of Hürtgen on the Belgium-German border, the first of one of the most heroic and humanitarian truces of the Second World War was forged between Allied Commanders and their counterparts when doctors and medics from both sides of battle converged to retrieve their wounded comrades during a cessation of arms.

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Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Title: Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1842

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha wearing the Golden Fleece, painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in 1842. Commissioned by Queen Victoria, it is perhaps unsurprising that this early portrait was one of Queen Victoria’s three favourite pictures of her husband, given the artist’s romantic treatment of the subject. Prince Albert is depicted in officer’s undress uniform, standing in a noble pose set against stormy skies, in a manner evocative of Ingres.

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Louis-Philippe, King of France (1773-1850)

Title: Louis-Philippe Ier, roi des Français (1773-1850)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1841

Louis-Philippe I, King of the French. The King is depicted at the entrance of the Gallerie des batailles which he had furnished in the Château de Versailles.

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Leopold I, King of the Belgians (1790-1865)

Title: Leopold I, King of the Belgians (1790-1865)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1840

Oil on canvas, 278.0 x 181.0 cm. The painting was made in Paris. Signed, dated and inscribed lower right: fr Winterhalter / Paris. 1840. Now become the collection of Musée National du Château de Versailles.

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Antoine d' Orleans Duc de Montpesier

Title: Antoine d' Orleans Duc de Montpesier
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1844

Antoine d'Orléans (Antoine Marie Philippe Louis d'Orléans; 31 July 1824 – 4 February 1890) was a member of the French royal family in the House of Orléans. He was the youngest son of King Louis Philippe of France and his wife Maria Amelia Teresa of the Two Sicilies. He was styled as the Duke of Montpensier. He was born on 31 July 1824 at the château de Neuilly and died 4 February 1890 at Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain.

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Portrait of François-Ferdinand-Philippe d'Orléans, prince de Joinville (1818-1900)

Title: Portrait of François-Ferdinand-Philippe d'Orléans, prince de Joinville (1818-1900)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1844

François-Ferdinand-Philippe-Louis-Marie d’Orléans, prince de Joinville,  (born Aug. 14, 1818, Neuilly, Fr.—died June 16, 1900, Paris), naval officer and writer on military topics who was prominent in the modernization of the French Navy. The son of Louis-Philippe, duc d’Orléans, later king of the French from 1830 to 1848, Joinville joined the navy in 1831, becoming lieutenant in 1836. Sent to Vera Cruz in 1838, he fought well, rising to captain (1839), and in 1840 he carried Napoleon’s remains back to France. Named vice admiral in 1844, he caused a stir with an article in the Revue des Deux Mondes comparing the naval forces of England and France, to the detriment of France. To redress the balance he urged France to acquire steamships. A great sponsor of new inventions, he was the patron of Dupuy de Lôme, architect of the earliest steam- and screw-rated ships. After 1848 Joinville went to England and in 1861 to the United States to offer his services to President Lincoln. Returning to France in 1870, he was expelled, returned under the name of Colonel Lutherod, and was exiled again, but the law that exiled the Orléans family was repealed in 1871. Elected deputy of Haute-Marne in 1871, he retired from public life in 1875. His works include Essais sur la marine française (1852; “Essays on the French Navy”) and Études sur la marine, 2 vol. (1859; “Naval Studies”).

Sources :'Orleans,Prince_de_Joinville,_1843.jpg

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Louis-Charles-Philippe of Orleans Duke of Nemours

Title: Louis-Charles-Philippe of Orleans Duke of Nemours
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1843

Oil on canvas. Dimensions: 140 x 215 cm. Now belong to Chateau de Versailles, France. Louis, Duke of Nemours was the second son of King Louis Phillipe of France. Louis became a colonel at the age of 12, and spent most of his life in the military. Appropriately, he is shown in full early Victorian military splendour, all shiny boots, red moire sash and gold epaulettes.

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Portrait of Louis-Philippe, King of the French

Title: Portrait of Louis-Philippe, King of the French
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1845

Oil on canvas. Dimensions: 245.4 × 154.4 cm (96.6 × 60.8 in). Painted for Louis Philippe as a present to Queen Victoria. Signed and dated lower left: F Winterhalter. / 1845.

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Louis Philippe I, King of the French

Title: Louis-Philippe 1er, Roi Des Francais (Louis Philippe I King of the French)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1839

Full length, 3/4 l, in uniform, ribbon, several orders, cocked hat under left arm, right hand extended and laid on table to left beside crown. Background: garden.

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The Austrian Peasant Family

Title: Ostmärkische Bauernfamilie (The Austrian Peasant Family)
Artist: Hans Schachinger
Date: 1941

In this extraordinary painting, no family members make eye contact, not even with the soldier-son who is the centerpiece of the composition. Generations rarely mix. So complete was the visual segregation between masculine and feminine spheres that gender was "color coded" in Nazi arts, with blues predominating for females and browns or blacks delineating males.

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Book "Landscaping the Human Garden: Twentieth-century Population Management in a Comparative Framework" by Amir Weiner